RSS Feed for this Blog

Monday, April 17, 2006

Thank You For Choosing....

- I feel a bit behind the 8-ball on posting. Traffic is up on the site these days, and that’s so gratifying. Thank you for choosing… I feel bad sometimes when I don’t keep up to my usual pace. I’d sit here and do this all day if I was being paid like Dan Illman is. But it was a busy weekend, and I’m busy working on something else that I’ll let you in on shortly.

In any case, thanks to reader Nick for bringing Satrurday’s figs to our attention – a 98 for Lawyer Ron, and a 116 for Sinister Minister, wow! That does indeed put Sin Min not only at the head of the Beyer class, but in the honors section all by himself. I see that Illman makes a case that the track wasn’t really that biased on Saturday because only two of the six dirt races were strictly wire-to wire, and particularly because Sun King came from so far back. Regarding Sun King, when the leader goes 44 1/5 to the half in a seven furlong race, I don’t care if it's the Daytona Speedway, chances are that he’s going to get caught. Bucharest also closed to win at seven furlongs, but he was the 3-5 favorite sitting a trip on the rail behind dueling leaders. The three other dirt races were won by horses that were all close up; and then there was the Blue Grass, which may have been evidence of the bias all in itself. I’m not going to let a couple of closing performances that had logical explanations negate a trend that has been dominant for years. It’s that kind of micro-nit picking that often drives me crazy about supposed biases (and lack thereof).

Lawyer Ron’s 98 Beyer was expected, and will create a big Beyer debate in the next three weeks. Even though we’ve seen him rate, I think his mid-race move showed his true colors, and I don’t expect him nor Brother Derek nor Discreet Cat (still no official announcement) nor Barbaro to let Sin Min get away. Time to take another look at horses like Cause to Believe and AP Warrior, whose last races were possibly compromised by slow paces. There seems to be no chance of that scenario repeating itself in the Derby.

- Brother Derek worked five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 this morning at Santa Anita. The California-bred son of Benchmark went Monday in fractions of :12 4/5, :25 1/5, :37 3/5 and :49 3/5 before coming home his final eighth in :11 4/5. [Bloodhorse]

First of what will no doubt be countless stories on the saga of Dan Hendricks and his paralysis in the NY Times today (yeah, you have to do the annoying registration). If Brother Derek wins the Derby, I will certainly lose money – I think you just have to go for a price again this year – but between Hendricks and the horse’s modest breeding, it would certainly be (another) great story for the sport. I’ll be happy to take one for the team.

- Saturday was a rough day. First there was the Rangers getting murdered by the Flyers in their biggest game of the year. It was so bad that I turned to the races earlier than planned, and plotted out some Pick 3’s on the last three at Keeneland. I used Kazoo, Vicarage, and Spanish Chestnut in the 8th, and looked home free with the longest of those, 8-1 Kazoo, when Sun King came flying home. Man, if losing that race to Sun King, whose past performances this year looked like those of the NY Islanders this season, wasn’t a further message that it wasn’t going to be my day, I don’t know what is. Not that it would have mattered in the end, because I didn’t have Sin Min, and my single in the 10th, Rush Bay, was a total no-chance closing 4th. But I ignored the signs, and continued to lose, and lose emphatically! When Red Reymond was nowhere to be found in the Ark Derby, I was done for the day; and that included scrapping an intended trip to the Meadowlands that night, with the Head Chef gone for the weekend.

I instead scanned the music listings in Time Out New York for something interesting, and with Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah long sold out, I came up instead with a local band called Hotels. Hadn’t heard of them before, and they sounded pretty cool on their website. But I had no idea what I was in for. There’s nothing like four dorky-looking guys playing tight, freaking kick-ass rock driven by an awesome rhythm section to get one’s mind off losing horses and hockey teams. The Time Out blurb said something about surf and goth and Joy Division, but it’s all just rock’n’roll to me. Their self-released CD is entitled Thank You For Choosing…

- Interesting idea by NYRA to try and keep horses in races that are taken off the turf – a 20% increase in the purse if eight horses remain in. New York has, by far and away, the most scratches when the track is wet – and that goes for dirt races as well as off-the-turfers. I often see at simulcasts sloppy track cards in which they’re hardly any scratches at all. Perhaps horsemen at smaller tracks simply can’t afford to not run when they have an opportunity to. My real pet peeve in NY is when the dirt-only horses scratch too…

1 Comment:

John said...

I always read LATG before I go out to DRF or Bloodhorse. You're doing a great job, even though you seem to be under the spell of the evil Mr Beyer :-).